TIPS, TRICKS and TIDBITS -  Help with cane proportions (315 views) Notify me whenever anyone posts in this discussion.Subscribe
From: TurtleMommy1/14/16 10:16 AM 
To: All  (1 of 7) 

I like to make canes -- fairly simple ones, though, like a flower.  

I have trouble when it comes to getting sizes and proportions right, especially with flower centers and outline layers.  I'm never sure how much to reduce for a center -- I'll look at it and think it looks too big, but by the time my cane is assembled and I begin reducing the entire cane, I'll realize that I made the center too small.

And it's the same with outlines [both inside the cane and outside] -- I'm never sure what the finished cane is going to look like.  If I go too thick, the outline competes with the design, but if I go too small.....

Does anyone have any advice or a "rule of thumb" for having good proportions, and how to decide these during the construction process?





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From: Melody011/15/16 8:05 AM 
To: TurtleMommy  (2 of 7) 
 71216.2 in reply to 71216.1 

Hi Maggie, I'm not much of a caner so I can't help you. Hope you are able to find an answer that works for you.

Happy Claying!

Anita in AZ


From: SherryBinNH1/15/16 10:45 AM 
To: TurtleMommy  (3 of 7) 
 71216.3 in reply to 71216.1 

I imagine it's a matter of experience and practice. Always save a slice of the un-reduced cane and the reduced one, so you can look back and see what happened. I don't like to make canes, so no rules to suggest, but really, I think the best cane makers do it by instinct and practice...

Another factor is the relative softness or hardness of the components of the cane. If they are all at the same level of softness, temperature, plasticity, etc. the cane should, if managed carefully, reduce pretty evenly. (No rushing, slow and steady...) Softer clay moves faster, stiffer clay slower, so if you have both in one cane, you need to let it rest for a few days so the plasticizer levels out.


Good luck!


Sherry Bailey


From: bethcurran1/20/16 5:12 PM 
To: TurtleMommy  (4 of 7) 
 71216.4 in reply to 71216.1 

Hi, I always make a drawing (artists would call it a "cartoon") and work from that.  You can get a nifty little thing called a reducing glass at quilting shops.  It's the opposite of a magnifying glass- when you look through it, you get a small image of the thing you're looking at.  This can help you judge the proportions and contrast in your cartoon - if you're having trouble with contrast, just  color in your cartoon with your proposed colors, then look at it through the glass.  I often take a drawing and scan it in so I can print out copies to try out in different colors.

Outlining is harder.  A trick I use a lot with kaleidoscopes and translucent canes is to always outline the inner elements with a sandwich of color - for example, a white-black-white sandwich sheet - instead of a single color.  For flowers and leaves I almost always wrap the finished cane with gold, pearl, or 50/50 pearl/silver.  I think it looks more natural than opaque clay.  I use a very thin layer to wrap the outside of the cane, much thinner than I use for outlining in the body of the cane, because unless you are better than I am at making super-thin slices, when you take your flower or leaf slice and press it down into the base clay, the outside edging will expand and take up more area than it did before you pressed it down.  So for example if I'm making a leaf cane, and I use a #4 sheet of clay for the veins, I would wrap it in a #6 or even #7 layer. To see this effect, try making a simple spiral with a #1 translucent and a #4 white, rolling with the white layer up, and then wrap the finished cane in a #6 or #7 sheet of white.  Cut slices and apply to a dark background - as you press the slices in, you'll see the outer layer "expand."

HTH - Beth CUrran


From: TurtleMommy1/20/16 11:05 PM 
To: bethcurran  (5 of 7) 
 71216.5 in reply to 71216.4 

Thanks to all!  


From: bethcurran1/21/16 6:05 AM 
To: TurtleMommy  (6 of 7) 
 71216.6 in reply to 71216.5 

Woops, I forgot to say that I always make backgroundless canes.  The bit about the outside layer expanding as you press the slices in applies only to backgroundless canes.  If you haven't tried the backgroundless method, send me your email addy and I'll give you some pointers.  It really is a huge improvement, and I actually think it's easier than caning with backgrounds, because although it takes a wee bit longer to set up, you don't have the problem with thick slices being unusable. - Beth


From: 7Jackie DelphiPlus Member Icon2/1/16 2:05 AM 
To: bethcurran  (7 of 7) 
 71216.7 in reply to 71216.4 

Nice help here, Beth! :)




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